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Scotland's New Year honours: top academics, cook Lady Claire Macdonald, and hairdresser Jennifer Cheyne

Scots from all walks of life have had their achievements recognised in the 2014 New Year Honours.

Professor Geoffrey Palmer, born Godfrey Palmer - Scotland's first black professor - is knighted for his services to human rights, science and charity.

The brewing and cereals expert, who is a professor emeritus at Edinburgh's Heriot-Watt University, is also an anti-racism campaigner.

Prof Palmer is one of a number of leading figures from universities whose achievements are celebrated this year.

Professor Adrian Bird, the Buchanan professor of genetics at Edinburgh University, is knighted for services to science.

Others being honoured are award-winning cook and food writer Lady Claire Macdonald.

The self-taught cook runs Kinloch Lodge luxury hotel on the Isle of Skye with her husband Lord Macdonald. She receives an OBE for services to the hospitality industry and to charity in Scotland, particularly Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Hairdresser Jennifer Cheyne receives an OBE for her services to the industry and for charity.

Ms Cheyne, who set up her first salon in 1976 with just one assistant, now employs more than 170 people at six salons across Edinburgh. She also starred in the Channel 4 series Secret Millionaire, going undercover in the former Welsh coal mining village of Aberfan.

Lawyer and Bollywood actress Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh receives an OBE for services to business and the Asian community.

The mother-of-four is an SNP candidate for next year's European Parliament elections and is also a member of the pro-independence campaign Yes Scotland's advisory board. She is chair and founder of the Scottish Asian Women's Association.

Seona Reid, former director of Glasgow School of Art, is made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of her work in the creative industries. It comes four months after she stepped down from the position she held for 14 years.

Artist Derek Clarke, the oldest member of the Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture, gets an MBE in the same year an exhibition was held to mark his 100th birthday. The painter turns 101 on New Year's Eve.

The achievements of many ordinary people are recognised in the honours, with Michael Hippisley to get an MBE for services to the Samaritans in Dundee.

The same honour goes to both Judith Jardine, headteacher of Hightae Primary School in Lockerbie, for her services to education, and Thomas Kelly, founder and manager of Johnstone Credit Union, for his services to the community and to financial services.

From politics, two Liberal Democrats are honoured.

Robert Brown, a former deputy minister for education and young people in the Labour-Lib Dem Scottish Executive, receives a CBE for political service.

Mr Brown was voted in as an MSP for the Glasgow region in the first Scottish Parliament elections in 1999, a position he held until 2011.

Having previously spent 15 years as a councillor on Glasgow District Council, Mr Brown, who is married with two children, returned to local authority politics in May 2012 when he was elected as councillor for the Rutherglen South ward of South Lanarkshire Council.

Fellow Lib Dem councillor Eileen McCartin receives an MBE in recognition of a quarter of a century of political service.

A councillor for the Paisley South West ward of Renfrewshire Council, Ms McCartin is a well-known local figure and has served as deputy leader of the local authority.

Brian Wilson, who recently retired as head of security at the Scottish Parliament, receives an OBE both for his services to the Parliament and for his voluntary service in Fife.

The father-of-two, from Kirkcaldy, said the honour is "totally unexpected" and that it is difficult "to keep quiet about it".

Mr Wilson, 59, whose career in security goes back to 1972 when he worked for the Scottish Office, said providing security at the Parliament 24 hours a day, 365 days a year is "very much a team effort".

The honour also recognises his community work in Fife where he has been a volunteer swimming coach as well as being involved in local ice hockey and football.

Also picking up an OBE is Neil Richardson, a deputy chief constable with Police Scotland.

He has been in the police since 1985 when he joined the Lothian and Borders force where he filled several roles. In 2006 he was promoted to assistant chief constable for territorial police and two years later joined Strathclyde Police as deputy chief constable.

In 2011 he was awarded the Queen's Police Medal and in November that year he took on the job of transformation director of the national police reform programme, driving the changes which led to the creation of a national police force for Scotland.

The same honour also goes to Owen Kelly, chief executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE), a position he took on in January 2008.

Before joining SFE, which represents financial services companies, he spent 20 years as an official for both the UK and Scottish governments, specialising in the European Union, international relations and communications.

Mr Kelly also worked in Tokyo in the 1990s, promoting Scotland as an investment location.

Keith Oliver, chairman of Cricket Scotland, receives an OBE for his service to the sport. He took on the role in 2002 and has overseen a huge expansion in cricket participation, with 12,000 people reportedly playing the sport every week by 2010.

Disability Snowsport UK chief executive Fiona Young is also being honoured with an OBE. The organisation helps disabled people take part in skiing and other snowsports and Ms Young receives her award for services to disability sport.

A mother who has spent years campaigning for heart screening for young athletes following the death of her son has spoken of her pleasure at being awarded an MBE.

Wilma Gunn, 68, set up the charity Scottish Heart At Risk Testing (H.A.R.T) after her son collapsed and died of cardiomyopathy during a five-a-side match the night before his 20th birthday in 1991.

Heart failure has claimed the lives of many young footballers, including Motherwell captain Phil O'Donnell, 35, who collapsed during a match against Dundee United on December 29, 2007.

Scottish H.A.R.T, established in 1997, aims to have sportsmen and women and their families screened for any heart problems or disorders and is also involved in installing defibrillators in public places

Following a long campaign, a screening programme is now available in the medical centre at Hampden Park in Glasgow, run by Professor Stewart Hillis and Dr John McLean.

Mrs Gunn, who lives in Selkirk in the Borders, said it is very important to raise awareness about conditions such as cardiomyopathy, which affects the shape and size of the heart, and other undiagnosed heart conditions in young athletes.

She said: "In the time between 91-97 there were quite a few young deaths and you could see there was a need for the medical profession to look into this. It's 22 years since my son died and I think there's more known about it now than ever before.

"It's very sad to see so many young lives being taken and I feel if they were screened they might have been given a different avenue of life to take."

The MBE came as a surprise to Mrs Gunn and she paid tribute to all those involved in the work of the charity.

She said: "It was quite a shock but it's nice to be awarded it.

"I appreciate this award very much and accept it in the knowledge that a whole lot of people have helped me and Scottish H.A.R.T over the years to make awareness of cardiomyopathy much more high profile and also, of course, to help save lives all over Scotland."

Mrs Gunn was awarded the MBE for services to cardiac health and to charity in Scotland.

First Minister Alex Salmond congratulated everyone who has been recognised.

"Once again, the list for Her Majesty The Queen's New Year Honours provides richly deserved recognition to people in Scotland who have shown outstanding service to their communities," he said.

"From those who do incredible work with young people, the elderly and sport to those who raise thousands for a range of charities across Scotland, the Honours is a fitting way of celebrating their work."

Mr Salmond passed on his "warmest congratulations to those in our emergency services who have been awarded The Queen's Fire, Police or Ambulance Service Medals".

He said: "In a year where we have commemorated the 25th anniversaries of the terrible events at Lockerbie and on Piper Alpha, and suffered tragedy at the Clutha Vaults in Glasgow, it is extremely fitting that the fantastic work of our world-class emergency services is recognised and celebrated right across Scotland."

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